Posted: Wednesday, 16 November 2016 @ 09:45
Sadly whether we like it or not we will be involved in some kind of conflict within our lives and particularly if it can potentially go to Court, there can be legal costs involved.
What are the tips that I can give to minimise these legal costs? In other words, how can you save money on legal disputes?
Tip 1 - Avoid The Dispute In the First Place - Sounds obvious but some disputes are avoidable if you look back at them. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but often our actions in choosing to go into a business/personal relationship which is destined to fail and then failing to extricate yourself on fair terms is the key driver why the legal dispute manifests and why significant legal costs result.
Tip 2 - Budget Litigation - Let us be quite frank about it litigation can be a nice money spinner for lawyers and despite the best efforts of the regulatory body the SRA ,lawyers are not unknown to rack up nice bills for their clients in disputes. Given this a client can save time and money agreeing a fixed fee or a monthly retainer with a client on a legal dispute rather than giving an open ended cheque.
Tip 3 Don't Be Jean-Claude Juncker - As much as the EU Commission played a role in Brexit with his refusal to address UK concerns on immigration and subsequently with his provocative comments after, he continues to act in the same vein after with dismissive comments of President Elect Donald Trump. All well and good but these kind of behaviours where you are seen to be disrespectful of another party are exactly the kind of behaviours which fuel fire and the determination of an opponent to oppose, thereby prolonging a legal dispute.
Tip 4 Seek Quality Counsel - This goes beyond getting a good lawyer which is a given but rather do not be afraid to ask respected friends for advice on how to resolve the dispute that you have. This can lead to increased perspective and the ability to avoid ruminating or getting obsessed by the problem.
Tip 5 Brainstorm With Your Lawyer to Find a Negotiated Settlement - Your lawyer's primary role is to advocate your case and win in Court if you get in that arena . On top of this your lawyer should try and settle your case on good terms and put pressure on your opponent - There are a variety of ways to settle your case and minimise legal costs including - A well worded offer of settlement, a without prejudice offer, an offer to mediate, an offer to use a different form of attempted settlement such as Early Neutral Evaluation etc. Sometimes your lawyer can get bogged down in the law case but not the overall picture- help him or her get some perspective.